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Take physic, pomp

It’s evolution, baby

How to measure a country’s progress? Beer! Yep, yesterday Alan Garcia stood up in front of the presidential palace and told us all that the progress made by Peru is obvious ‘cos beer sales were up 11.5% YoY.

You can’t make this shit up, I’m telling you. For one thing, only Alan could do this and keep a straight face at the same time. For another, only in Peru would you get a press corps that actually take these kind of comments seriously. Alan even admitted that higher prices for frivolities like ‘bread’ were causing consternation, but BEER! won the day.

The journalistic lapdogs also seemed to have forgotten a bit of basic supply and demand law, too. Sure beer sales are up 11.5% YoY, but nobody mentioned that in 2007 the virtual monopoly that local brewer ‘Bacchus’ had over the local beer market was finally broken, thanks to Brazil giant Ambev getting serious about selling its ‘Brahma’ brand (LatAm’s top selling brew, even if it is a bit like making love in a boat*), as well as new brands such as ‘Franca’ and ‘Barena’ hitting the market and new efforts to market traditional one-town brands all over the country (best example being the ‘Trujillo’ brand).

The result of all this competition? Yes Victoria, prices have dropped. The unbeatable “3×10” price of a couple of years ago (meaning that you got 3 bottles of 620cc beer for 10 soles) is now down to “4×9” “4×9.50” etc depending on the brand involved…and that’s retail price in the smallest of corner stores. What happens when prices drop? Yes Victoria, sales tend to increase.

Garcia trumpeting beer sales as proof of economic well-being in Peru? Laughable. Reporters taking him seriously? Even worse.

* f___ing close to water

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